4 Tips to Capture Impulse Shoppers

December 17, 2018
Samantha Brachat

Impulsive buying continues to be a substantial contributor to revenue and average order value for retailers. Brick-and-mortar stores have mastered the art of capturing impulse shoppers by tapping into consumer psychology, product placement and more. In the ecommerce landscape, online retailers have been slower to adapt. More than 40% of consumers spend more money in stores than they had budgeted for while only 25% reported impulse shopping online. So how can online retailers harness impulse buying behaviour and increase average order value? Here are 4 tips to cultivate impulsive purchasing behaviour.


1. Provide Upsells

Many brick-and-mortar companies will display cheaper items and accessories in the checkout line. As customers are waiting to pay, they peruse the displays and have little time to rethink any extra items they’ve impulsively chosen. Online merchants can recreate this technique within their shopping carts by displaying featured or recommended items during the checkout. One option is to advertise products based on items they have currently selected in their shopping cart. Since the customer is already in the checkout process, there is less time to overthink the additional product they selected. Another upsell online merchants can benefit from is to offer free shipping. Merchants can increase their average order value by promoting free shipping if customers spend over a desired threshold value.


2. Make it Mobile Convenient

The growth of mobile device use is one of many drivers for online shopping. With 42% of mobile shoppers making impulse purchases, merchants should take advantage of this momentum to increase sales. One-click buying options are one way for merchants to offer a convenient mobile shopping experience. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are already taking advantage of this by incorporating buy buttons directly into customer’s news feeds. If customers see a product they like on one of these sites, they no longer have to search for the company’s online store, find the item and then proceed to checkout.


3. Optimize the Checkout Process

Another way to harness impulse buying is to streamline the checkout process to be simple, efficient and quick. The more time customers have to contemplate their purchase, the more likely they will rethink the purchase. One-click shopping is one option to increase impulsive buying behaviour within the checkout. Customers can instantly buy products without going through a lengthy process and possibly rethinking their purchase.

Here are a few ways to streamline your checkout process:

  • Only include essential steps and fields
  • Avoid forcing customers to register or login
  • Auto-populate fields
  • Reduce the number of links exiting the shopping cart
  • Display a progress bar and clear calls to action


4. Offer Multiple Payment Methods

More than 21% of customers exited the checkout process because entering in credit card information took too long. By offering one-step payment options, customers have choices that are more efficient than credit cards.

Some payment methods, such as Stripe, have streamlined checkout processes that let customers save their personal and credit card details on a secure platform connected to an email address. Customers can then pay with a single tap in supported checkouts.

There are a lot of opportunities for online merchants to take advantage of impulse buying. By refining the checkout process and finding ways to cater to impulsive shoppers, merchants can increase their average order value, cultivate more buying activity and ultimately generate more revenue.

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